Another prediction brought on by the total solar eclipse has to do with the amount of traffic that will be on the roads on Monday, August 21. This is not caused by some full moon-type effect that will make people suddenly take to their vehicles with urges to drive like mad during a solar eclipse. No, there’s another reason behind the clogged highways and byways in next week’s future.
According to U.S. News, there are warnings already surfacing, along with officials conveying their concerns, over the looming gridlock. These warnings about heavy traffic for the day of the total solar eclipse are popping up all over the nation today. Transportation officials in Oregon and Washington offer up a message for drivers in their neck of the woods. According to U.S. News, no matter how bad you imagine the traffic to get during the total solar eclipse event, it will most likely be worse than you can imagine.
The backups on the nation’s highways are expected to occur before, during, and after the solar eclipse event. Dave Thompson, who is a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Transportation, had this to say.
“This is the biggest transportation event that has ever hit Oregon.”
The places where they will experience the totality of the total solar eclipse, which is the area that will plunge into complete darkness, is only a 70 mile-wide path going across America. A total solar eclipse has not been experienced across the U.S. since 1918. This rare occurrence in the U.S. will have people traveling to position themselves right smack dab in the center of that path to take in all that the total eclipse has to offer. Since they have to get there first, this means many vehicles on the roads and highways of the nation.
Warnings to make sure you have several hours worth of water and food with you in your vehicle have been issued by officials in Oregon. This is a state that expects over a million people making their way into the center of the state to view the event. Warnings are also issued to fill up your tank every chance you get and remember to take enough medication with you for your trip that may be delayed for a long period of time due to traffic.
Port-a-potty shortages. Cellular blackout zones. Ambulances stuck in gridlock... Great American Eclipse https://t.co/aNi1L7fOta— BJSquirrel (@BJSquirrel) August 4, 2017
According to the Columbian, the officials in the state of Oregon have some very serious concerns.
Thompson said, “This isn’t about a traffic jam — a traffic jam for a couple hours is an inconvenience. When it lasts a long time, it becomes an increased risk factor for health issues — people have to pee, they forget medications or in high temperatures people might run out of gas on the highway and be at risk for heat stroke.”
Thompson urges drivers to use Tripcheck.com, which is a speed map of all of Oregon. According to American Eclipse USA, this is just not a problem in Oregon, It is a “category 5” crowd event from coast to coast.
I checked on the possibility of watching the eclipse from an Interstate Highway. The odds of gridlock on the day... https://t.co/KBZ3C11ZIZ— Geoff Coe (@wildimagesfla) August 9, 2017
American Eclipse.com reminds their readers that millions of people live in cities just eight hours or less away from the path that will experience the totality of the eclipse. Many of those who are eight hours or less away from that 70-mile path cutting through the nation will be planning day trips to take it all in.
Cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Orlando, and Washington, D.C., are just a stone’s throw away in the scope of things. If this becomes the event on the roads in the nation, like what the officials in Oregon predict for their state, then this could create some real problems. The worries are today that instead of eclipse viewing headlines in the news next week, you might be reading some very sad stories about the folks who were stuck in the gridlock.
[Featured Image by Predrag Sepel/Shutterstock]